“The Accent Hatchback fits in very well in the local Hyundai range between the i20 and i30 hatchbacks – not only in terms of price, but also when it comes to interior space for passengers as well as luggage storage,” says Stanley Anderson, marketing director at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
Two derivatives – the 1.6 Fluid manual, with a six-speed gearbox, and the 1.6 Fluid with a four-speed automatic transmission – will be on Hyundai dealers’ showroom floors in South Africa from this week.
Both derivatives get their power from a very economical four-cylinder 1.6 litre Gamma engine which is transverse mounted to drive the compact yet roomy Accent Hatchback through the front wheels.
The petrol-injection engine, with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), has a displacement of 1 591cc and delivers 91kW and torque of 156Nm. Its CO2 emissions were measured at 152 g/km for the manual derivative, and 161 g/km for the Accent Hatchback with the automatic transmission.
A combined fuel consumption figure 6.4 litres/100km was recorded in the manual Accent Hatchback, while the automatic derivative delivered average fuel consumption of 6.8 litres/100km.
When viewed from the front, the Accent Hatchback resembles its sedan sibling with headlamps that curve into the body, and a two-piece black bezel design that adds a touch of high-tech luxury.
The sporty fog lamps, which are standard equipment, compliment the hexagonal grill, Hyundai’s family face, which has rounded edges.
At the rear the sedan’s boot is replaced with a wide hatch door that reveals a roomy luggage area, covered by a parcel tray for security. Rear combination lamps blend with the sides of the Accent Hatchback in a modern, dynamic style, making the Accent look wider.
Large rear reflectors incorporated into the bumper add to the modern style and provide extra safety and visibility. The raised edges of the rear hatch door contribute to the sensual aesthetics and provide better aerodynamics at speed.
The exterior picture is rounded off by attractive alloy wheels with 195/50R16 tyres. The spare wheel, located under the floor of the luggage area, is also a full-size alloy.
Convenience features that come as standard equipment in both derivatives include steering wheel remote controls that let the driver control the audio system without moving one’s hands from the wheel; electric side mirror and automatic up/down window controls that are integrated in the driver’s armrest; and easily accessible iPod/USB/Aux ports in the centre console that allow multimedia devices to be connected and played through the audio system.
Integrated Bluetooth functionality enables the driver and passengers to make phone calls and stream music wirelessly though the audio system.
The super vision cluster is clear and readable and provides a sense of sophistication, while the steering wheel can tilt up or down to create the best possible driving position, aided by height-adjustment for the driver’s seat. There is also a 4-speed manual air-conditioning system.
Several storage places have been built into the Accent Hatchback’s cabin. Apart from the spacious glove compartment, odds and ends can be hidden away in a storage console under the centre armrest that forms part of a slide-adjustable lid to maximize driver comfort.
A 60:40-split rear seat back makes it possible to extend the standard luggage area of 370 litres.
An important and very helpful convenience feature is the rear Park Assist System with audible warning.
The key for the Accent Hatchback incorporates a central door locking system, with a separate button to unlock the rear hatch door.
Improved gear shift feeling for the manual six-speed transmission, which is regulated with the help of a hydraulically controlled clutch. The gear ratios are well spaced to provide spirited acceleration with frugal fuel consumption in the overdrive sixth gear.
The four-speed automatic transmission features a flat-type torque converter with a variable line pressure control disc-type return spring. These innovations ensure reduced gear noise and smooth gear changes.
McPherson struts at the front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear ensures a comfortable suspension that is firm enough to provide excellent road holding and articulation, even on rough surfaces. Lateral load compensation springs offer reduced friction resistance on the struts, improving the ride and optimizing the suspension to ensure comfortable driving. The use of springs that are independent of the modified shock absorbers allow more efficient use of the interior space at the rear.
A Motor Drive Power Steering system delivers a sharp response when the steering wheel is turned, with accurate handling. It also makes the Accent Hatchback a car that is easy to maneuver and park in city traffic.
High-tensile strength steel plates were used in the chassis construction of the Accent Hatchback for increased resilience in the event of a collision. This also creates a ring-type structure in the centre pillar that provides more strength and protection against side impact.
Driver and passenger airbags, complemented by side and curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners for the driver and front passenger’s 3-point safety belts, provide further passive safety for the driver and other occupants of the Accent Hatchback.
The rear bench has two 3-point safety belts with a lap belt in the middle seat.
Active safety Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) take care of active safety, should the driver of the Accent Hatchback land in a spot of bother on the road.